Who was W. E. Greiner?
William Edward Greiner was born March 11, 1863, in Paris, Texas. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. G. O. Greiner. Mr. Greiner received his early training in the Paris schools and graduated from the University of Illinois with a Graduate of Pharmacy degree in 1888. He was in the retail drug business in Paris from 1891 to 1899. In 1900, the Greiner-Kelly Drug Company was organized and established in Dallas. Mr. Greiner served as president of the company. He was married to Miss Myrtle Imogene Terry of Dallas, and they had two children, Mary Adelia, and William E. Jr.
Always interested in civic affairs and the youth of this city, Mr. Greiner was a member of the Dallas Board of Education for 10 years, and served as president from April 1918 until his resignation in December 1923. During his term of service, the Reserve Officers Training Corps was introduced and a master's degree was recommended for all teachers. He was privileged to select the site for the school to be named for him, W. E. Greiner Junior High School. Mr. Greiner died on August 16, 1934, at the age of seventy-one.
W. E. Greiner Exploratory Arts Academy and Middle School
W. E. Greiner Middle School is one of the largest middle schools in the state of Texas with nearly 1800 students enrolled. Greiner has a rich history stretching back to the turn of the 20th century. The original classrooms were separate plank buildings on a grassy South Oak Cliff field. In 1915, the plan for a new middle school was decided upon. That building, or what remains of it, is still part of the Greiner Middle School campus.
The Original Middle School, turn of the century
1915 Plan for W. E. Greiner Middle School
W.E. Greiner Campus today
When the old building was deconstructed in 1989, the present-day 10,000 square foot facility was erected in its place. The old building (YMCA) now houses classes for students in the Leadership Cadet Corps and physical education.
Greiner's campus features four gyms and an impressive performance hall (auditorium) named after renowned musician and Oak Cliff native, Stevie Ray Vaughan. In addition, students have access to our 20,000+ volume library and the Carolyn Reed Art Gallery, which showcases student work. Greiner is also home to the only Arts magnet (Academy) at the middle school level for students in the Dallas Independent School District offering concentrations in dance, music, theater, and visual arts.
The Stevie Ray Vaughan Auditorium
Stevie Ray Vaughan
October 3, 1954 - August 27, 1990
Born and raised in Oak Cliff, Texas, Stevie Ray Vaughan went on to put his mark on the music world. He and his band, Double Trouble, released several platinum-selling albums, won a Grammy Award, and collaborated with many of the top guitarists and musicians of the rock and blues world.
He got his start playing guitar in his first Dallas band, Liberation, which included another Oak Cliff native, Scott Phares. From there, he moved to Austin, where he played with The Cobras, before forming Double Trouble.
He was asked to perform at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival in France, where David Bowie heard him play and asked Stevie to be the guitarist on Bowie's next album, Let's Dance. Because of his searing guitar solos on the songs, "Cat People," and the title track,"Let's Dance," Vaughan became a household name after the album was released. He signed a contract shortly after with Columbia/Sony records under the guidance of John Hammond, the record company executive who had discovered Bob Dylan.
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble's first LP, Couldn't Stand the Weather, sold over a million copies and put him on the road to rock and roll stardom. His 1989 release, In Step, won a Grammy Award. During his career, he performed with some of rock's greatest stars, including Carlos Santana, ZZ Top, Jeff Beck, David Bowie, and Eric Clapton. In 1990, he recorded his last album, Family Style, with his brother Jimmie Vaughan. It included the single, "Tick Tock." The words to this song are engraved on several bricks inlaid on the platform of the DART station at Hampton Road and Wright Street.
On August 27, 1990, Vaughan boarded a helicopter after playing a concert with his idol, Eric Clapton, at Alpine Meadows, New York. Flying in heavy fog, the helicopter crashed, taking Vaughan's life and that of everyone on board. He is buried in nearby Laureland Cemetery.
His mother, Martha Vaughan, was instrumental in having the Greiner auditorium named the Stevie Ray Vaughan Performance Hall. She has awarded scholarships to several Greiner students in his memory.
In 2012, local graffiti artists commissioned a grand mural in tribute to Vaughan and reflecting the eight Fine Arts disciplines offered in Greiner's Academy program.